The ability to bounce back has provided No. 12 Duke with encouragement.
Clemson can hope for the same when the teams meet Saturday afternoon at Durham, N.C.
“When you play in the ACC, there’s a lot of things that go into it,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said. “You get teams on different hot streaks or maybe they’re not playing as well so that means they’re going to play better against you.”
Duke (14-4, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) will try to make things right at home after last week’s stunning loss to Pitt. The Blue Devils recovered with Tuesday night’s 83-69 victory at Louisville, helped by the availability of a full lineup.
Duke’s Mark Mitchell and Jeremy Roach returned to action after injuries caused them to miss the Pitt game.
Roach missed time earlier in the season and then one game this month. His presence provides confidence and court maturity.
“That’s what we missed with him being out last game and for that beginning stretch when he was out, he’s been that guy to provide poise and confidence,” Scheyer said.
Mitchell had 20 points and 12 rebounds in his return.
“I didn’t really know I was going to play until (Monday),” Mitchell said. “But I feel like I just went out there, tried to play hard, do what I could to help my team win and I think I did some good things.”
Clemson (13-5, 3-4) hasn’t played since last weekend and has dropped out of the national rankings. The Tigers need to get cranked up again.
Clemson is aiming to win consecutive games for the first time this month. The Tigers won 78-67 last Saturday at Florida State for their second true road victory of the season.
“You’re trying to get it flipped back,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said of up-and-down results. “It’s good to take a deep breath.”
During the extra preparation time, the Tigers worked on shooting.
“We need to get our shooting back,” Brownell said.
Clemson has had roster availability fluctuations as well. Forward Jack Clark has played in the past two games after sitting out since November.
“We’re hopeful that he’s turned the corner a little bit,” Brownell said. “He needs to continue to get a feel for what we’re doing.”
And the status of guard Chase Hunter, who averages 11.4 points per game, could be in question. His significant other could be delivering a baby this week.
“He has a lot of things going on in his life,” Brownell said of Hunter.
There were various boosts for the Blue Devils in the Louisville game, with sophomore guard Tyrese Proctor pouring in a career-high 24 points. Duke collected a season-high 15 offensive rebounds and sophomore Kyle Filipowski matched his career high with 15 rebounds.
“We really locked in and got stops when we needed to,” Proctor said. “And then, we took advantage of it and started scoring.”
Clemson center PJ Hall is second in ACC scoring with 19.7 points per game and Filipowski is fourth at 18.2.
The Tigers won the only meeting with Duke last season at home. Two years ago in Durham, Duke won a two-point decision against Clemson.
– Field Level Media
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